By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
By Frank Owen
By Allie Conti
"Madam chair," Sorenson said, trying to interrupt.
"I haven't finished, commissioner," Souto snapped. "You have to show respect for me, too, okay? You have to show respect for me, too."
"I have tremendous respect for you," Sorenson replied.
"No, no, you have to," Souto continued, "yes, because I am talking now and you have to listen until I finish. And let me tell you -- this is a piece of advice -- be very careful with all that stuff, because everybody knows, everybody knows, okay. And there are lots of Cuban people out there who vote, okay, and it has to do with the values of the good Cubans. I'm not saying that all Cubans are the same. Some Cubans might not -- there are some Cubans who, they will sell their souls, too. We know that. But that is not the case, you know. I'm talking about the good Cuban people, the ones with good values and they don't forget," Souto concluded, "they don't forget."
"Madam chair, if I could respond," Sorenson said. "The reason I need to reverse my vote on this, is not on the issue of the music itself. That has not come before us. But my value is on the value of freedom of speech. I was born in this country and freedom of speech is a very, very dear value to me. And to remove someone from a board for simply speaking her mind, to me it's just -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry that it offends other people and I, and I know how sensitive this issue is. And I know the political repercussions. But I cannot sit here and in good conscience not defend someone's right to say something, even though they may not agree or be part of the mainstream in this community. So for me, I'm voting on a matter of conscience that regards only the narrow issue of freedom of speech. And that's why I need to change my vote on this issue and I'll take the consequences.